Archive for the Supernatural Category

The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Sixteen “Last Day on Earth”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2016 by Starloggers

negan and the lineup

“As long as it’s all of us, we can do anything.” – Rick Grimes to Maggie Greene

“You ruled the roost, you…built something. You thought you were safe. I get it. But the word is out. you…are not safe. Not even close.” – Negan

The sixteenth episode and the sixth season finale of The Walking Dead opens with Morgan Jones (Lennie James) morgan and horseout in the woods of Northern Virginia looking for Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride). She had run away from their town, Alexandria, because of building guilt over killing people in the past. Now, Morgan finds a horse with a saddle and bridle and begins riding it to continue his search.

Back in Alexandria, the residents are preparing to transport Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) in an RV to Hilltop, a town a day’s drive away, since there is a doctor that can help her. Maggie is pregnant with her husband Glenn Rhee’s (Steven Yeun) child and is experiencing sharp pains in her abdomen, presumably she is in danger of miscarriage. Accompanying her are the town’s leader, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), his teenage son Carl (Chandler Riggs), Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz), his lover Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), Aaron (Ross Marquand), and Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt). Before they leave, Rick puts Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) in charge of the town’s defense. They had come into conflict recently with a vicious gang of marauders called the Saviors and everyone is on edge as the Rick’s group leaves in the RV. What they don’t realize is that their fellow residents Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos) and Glenn have been captured by the Saviors in the previous episode.

Later, Morgan rides the horse into an abandoned town with  a few undead walkers shuffling about. He finds Carol badly wounded by a library. Despite her protests about being left alone, he takes her inside the library and tends to her knife wound that she received in the previous episode from fighting some Saviors.

rick and co.

The journey of the RV is stymied when a group of Saviors form a roadblock. Rick and his people step out and he offers to make a deal. This group’s leader (Steven Ogg) demands that Rick and the others turn over their supplies and that one of them may be killed. Being that they are armed with guns, Rick refuses this offer and rather than confront the Savior he has Abraham drive the RV back where they came from and start looking for an alternate route.

In the library, once Carol is mended, Morgan insists on taking her back to Alexandria. She adamantly refuses and states that she cares too much about the Alexandrians. In order to protect them, she has to kill for them, which is something she refuses to do anymore. Morgan leaves her to kill a walker just outside the library. She uses this opportunity to flee the building.

carol on the edge

Carol stumbles through the deserted streets and barely fights off walkers. Just after she kills the last one, she is attacked by Roman (Stuart Greer), one of the Saviors that she confronted in the last episode and she left for dead. Instead, he survived and has been hunting her ever since. He gets the better of her and has her on the ground at gunpoint. Already defeated and weary from her ordeal and her emotions, Carol pleads to be killed. Instead, Roman begins torturing her by shooting her limbs.

Morgan shows up with a gun that Rick gave him last episode and orders him to stop. When Roman refuses, Morgan reluctantly shoots him repeatedly, killing him.

meet the kingdomThe gunfire draws the attention of two armored men. One of them (Daniel Newman), Morgan and Rick briefly encountered in the previous episode. Rick thought he was a Savior and tried shooting him but Morgan stopped him. Now, this same man offers aid for Carol. He and Morgan shake hands.

Rick and the others are having are harder time. No matter where they turn on the roads, they come upon roadblocks by Saviors. Each time, the numbers of Saviors grows ominously larger. One roadblock is different in that a group of chained-together walkers block their RV’s path. When they leave the vehicle to investigate, they discover that two of the walkers have items from Daryl and Michonne, such as his crossbow bolts and a couple of her dreadlocks. An unseen assailant fires at their feet, forcing them back to the RV. But Rick quickly hacks apart the walkers and the chains, which clears a path for them.

rick kills blockers

 

Day turns into night and they are no closer to Hilltop. After more roadblocks, their fuel supply low, and Maggie’s condition worsening they realize they have to do something. Eugene opines that the Saviors may only be on the lookout for an RV. It’s decided that Eugene will drive off with the RV as a lure while Rick and the others will transport Maggie on a stretcher by foot to Hilltop. Before Eugene leaves he gives Rick a “recipe”, instructions on how to make bullets.

carrying maggieRick and his group make their way through the woods in the dark and are just a few miles away from their destination. But taunting whistles announce that they aren’t alone. They hastened their hike but are stopped in their tracks by a spotlight. They are surrounded by an army of Saviors. Nearby is the RV and Eugene held prisoner. The Savior that they first met disarms them and forces them to their knees. Then a nearby van opens up and Daryl, Michonne, Rosita and Glenn are brought out to join Rick and the others. Once that is done the Saviors’ leader Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) emerges from the RV.

A large, imposing man clad in a motorcycle jacket, Negan wields a baseball bat wrapped with barbed wire that he calls Lucille. He informs Rick that he and his people will work for the Saviors from now on and turn over half of what they own to the Saviors. He adds that Rick’s people has killed many of his people and for that he has to make an example. One of the group will be killed. Enjoying the moment, especially the sense of deflated defeat in Rick, Negan decides to randomly pick one of Rick’s party. Once done, he smashes the bat over the victim of his wrath. We do not see who it is, only the POV of the victim as blood pours down the screen before the POV tumbles to the ground and the screen goes black.

negan lectures rick

After all the hoopla and anticipation, the season six finale of The Walking Dead is a mixed bag with a disappointing conclusion. “Last Day on Earth” for the most part had this growing sense of dread over what was to come. We, the viewers knew that Negan was right around the corner, but our heroes didn’t and the anxiousness that we felt as events unfolded was mirrored by Rick’s increasing desperation. He and many of his people started off this episode (and for a good portion of season six) with a sense of bravado that they could do anything. Rick and his people could not be truly faulted, though. They had been through the wringer with many foes and vanquished them, it was only natural that they would become overconfident. But, now they are paying a price. Honestly, they had to expect some kind of reaction from all the Saviors they killed in the last few episodes of The Walking Dead.

rick aaron and sasha

That overconfidence could be the explanation over some of the decisions made by Rick. Why not just head back to Alexandria where it was safer? Why didn’t he realize much sooner that they were being herded?

Strangely enough, the story arc with Morgan was actually the most interesting thing going on in “Last Day on Earth” because for a while many fans have been growing impatient with his non-killing stance and saw it as a hindrance. In this episode, his Pay It Forward approach seems to be paying off with the introduction of the citizens from The Kingdom, a new faction that if mirroring the comic books will become a major ally for the Alexandria Safe Zone. It would be satisfying for Morgan if he ends up joining that community.

As Carol, her behavior is just perplexing. Once an iron lady with a cool head and a pragmatic resolve, she is emotionally falling apart. In recent episodes, Carol has been acting like a meek and helpless housewife, echoing her past. At first, it seemed like an effective ruse to put her enemies’ guards down, but now we’re wondering if it is something else. Perhaps she is starting to suffer from PTSD and if so it’s not a good time because Alexandria needs her now more than ever. But at least, for now, she is safe from Negan.

Regarding Negan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan owned the role the moment he stepped out of that RV. Already a genre favorite thanks to his roles in Watchmen and Supernatural, Morgan’s Negan is an intimidating and sadistic force who is not to be taken lightly. We just wish he had appeared sooner, though it is understandable why the producers wanted to wait until a special moment like the finale to unveil him.

both negans

However, their decision to not reveal who Negan killed was a huge letdown. Never mind the excuses made by them that they wanted a good cliffhanger. Ending the episode like is not an appropriate payoff. In the 100th issue of The Walking Dead comic book, readers saw immediately who Negan killed and everyone got to process over what happened. This did not happen here, unlike Game of Thrones where we see who gets killed at the end of each season and get to express our rage over a period of time. Now, we are stuck waiting several months until the fall to find out who was killed. Good luck to the producers with trying to keep that secret. What is worse is that we won’t be able to fully process the death when it is revealed before being swept up in the next episode. Perhaps, they feared a backlash if they revealed now who died, but that is happening anyway with many disappointed viewers.

So are they worried that people won’t take kindly to the creative decision of who died? Could it be, God forbid, Daryl? Or is it Glenn? It is difficult to say who is the victim and the final moments do not make that clear despite what conspiracy theorists are stating across the Internet. Personally, I think it could be Eugene or Abraham based on Eugene’s apparent farewell expressed before leaving in the RV and Abraham’s recent turn away from a bleak outlook on life. But it could be someone else. All we can do now is speculate until this fall.

José Soto

The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Fifteen “East”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2016 by Starloggers

carol surrenders

The fifteenth and penultimate episode in the sixth season of The Walking Dead builds up to a coming confrontation between the residents of the Alexandria Safe Zone and the Saviors. The start of the episode backtracks from the very end of the last episode where Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) left Alexandria. “East” begins with Carol getting ready to leave the town due to her growing guilt over her past killings. As she preps to leave clandestinely we see life going on in the town seen through the eyes of several couples like the town’s leader Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Dania Gurira), Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), and Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) and his wife Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan).

Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) leaves daryl leavesAlexandria on a personal vendetta to deal with his enemy Dwight (Austin Amelio), who killed Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever) in the last episode. Afterwards, Michonne, Glenn and Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos) leave town to go after him. Meanwhile, Carol’s lover Tobin (Jason Douglas) finds the letter she left him about her departure and gives it to Rick, who leaves with Morgan Jones (Lennie James) to pursue Carol.

Carol is driving alone on a country road in a car adorned with wooden stakes sticking out of its body. She passes a pickup truck with men, Saviors, who fire on her car and force her to stop.

savior roadblock

She approaches the Saviors as a meek and frightened woman to throw her opponents off-guard. Just like in previous episodes this ruse works. Being that she is wearing a heavy coat that is too big on her, her hands are covered by sleeves which conceals a gun in her right hand. Carol fires the weapon and take out most of the Saviors. One of them chases her back to her car but she impales him with one of the stakes. Another injured Savior jumps out from a hidden spot in the truck and charges her with a knife. We do not see how the fight ends.

carol caught

Later, Rick and Morgan come to the spot where the confrontation took place and see the aftermath of Carol’s handiwork. Rick admits to feeling proud about her for her ability to take out so many enemies. What they don’t realize is that just before they arrived, another Savior in the truck recovered from the attack and stumbled off into the fields.

While this was happening, Michonne, Glenn and Rosita come to the railroad tracks where Daryl, Rosita and Denise encountered Dwight and the Saviors. They soon Daryl in the nearby woods. They all argue about what Daryl is doing, he points out that if he had killed Dwight earlier in the episode “Always Accountable” Denise might still be alive. He leaves the group to continue his hunt, but now Rosita joins him since she too is furious about what happened to Denise. Glenn and Michonne head back to their car, but are soon captured by Dwight and four Saviors.

rick and morganRick and Morgan find a blood trail heading eastward and conclude that it might be Carol’s. They follow the trail while unaware that the Savior was watching them from a hiding place and is now following them. They come to a farm and spot an armored man who claims that it is his place and begs them to leave. They insist of talking to him but the man runs off as several walkers appear. Rick and Morgan kill the walkers, at one point, Rick fires his gun at the departing man, who he believes is a Savior, but Morgan spoils his aim. The two men rick firescontinue their philosophical argument where Morgan decries Rick’s harsh, savage behavior. Rick counters that they have to be brutal to survive in the new world, but Morgan refuses to see this viewpoint. He believes that everyone can be redeemed, and points to Carol as proof since she was once banished from Rick’s group and welcomed back. Morgan confesses about the Wolf gang member (Samuel Benedict) that he captured several episodes ago. As Rick fumes about this news Morgan tells him that the Wolf wound up saving Denise, who in turned saved Rick’s son Carl (Chandler Riggs). Morgan offers to continue tracking Carol on his own and for Rick not to look for him if he doesn’t return to Alexandria. Rick offers him a gun and lets his friend go before turning back to town.

Back in Alexandria, Maggie asks Enid (Katelyn Nacon) to cut her hair. After the young teenager does this, Maggie explains that she does not want anything to get in her way, implying her formerly long hair. Just as she finishes her statement, Maggie, who is pregnant, experiences crippling pain in her abdomen and collapses to the floor screaming.

captured glann and michonne

Elsewhere, Glenn and Michonne are gagged and tied up to trees in the Saviors’ campsite. Daryl and Rosita encroach upon the camp. Glenn tries to shout a warning to them, but it’s muffled. At that moment, Dwight and another Savior come up behind Daryl and Rosita with their guns drawn. Dwight flashes a wicked smile as Daryl lowers his crossbow and fires his gun at Daryl. The screen is splattered with blood and goes black. Dwight’s voice is heard telling Daryl that “You’ll be alright.”

last shot

Apprehension rules the day with “East” as most fans of The Walking Dead, especially those that have read the comic book issues this storyline is based on, are nervously anticipating the season finale. As a penultimate episode “East” stands out with its build up, though it does have its issues.

Those have to do with the behaviors of some of the most seasoned characters. Many of them seem quite reckless like Daryl. His charging off all half-cocked on a vengeance quest made him sloppy, which is troubling since he is so skilled at tracking and fighting. It was fairly easy for Dwight to get the drop on him, the guy who took out a tank way back in season four and decimated evil gangs and walkers alike almost singlehandedly. What is worse is that his actions have put other people in harm’s way, the same goes for Carol. Didn’t anyone think that driving out in the open road with the Saviors lurking about the area was looking for trouble?

caught up to daryl

Of course, many are wondering if Daryl is dead. Don’t worry, he’ll be fine, injured but alive. That does take him out of contention for being the victim of Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) wrath.

So who is left? Carol, Rosita, Glenn, Michonne, Rick, Morgan or some of the other Alexandrians. Glenn is an obvious frontrunner due to his counterpart’s fate in the comic books, but as seen in the previous episode and in other instances, the producers aren’t afraid to change things and have their characters suffer different fates. Could it be Carol? Or Abraham? Both seem like DOA characters with their nihilistic outlook of life and Carol’s need to absolve herself of her past. In this day and age of the Internet, the fact that the finale is airing soon and no one not involved with making The Walking Dead knows for sure is astonishing onto itself.

lucille

Gripes aside, the tension is hanging heavy in this episode, threatening to burst as we await the first appearance of Negan and Lucille, and what that means. We all know that it won’t be pleasant.

José Soto

The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Fourteen “Twice As Far”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2016 by Starloggers

decayed walker

“Welcome to Stage Two” – Abraham to Eugene

The fourteenth episode, “Twice As Far”, of the sixth season of The Walking Dead concentrates on parallel stories of two groups scavenging outside the Alexandria Safe Zone.

Abe and EugeneAbraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) leave Alexandria and make their way to an abandoned town. Eugene directs Abraham to a machine shop, which he declares would be a good place to make bullets. This idea makes perfect sense to Abraham since their supply of bullets can only go so far. Abraham has started gaining newfound respect for Eugene, noting he now sports a ponytail instead of a mullet hairstyle and is doing guard duty at Alexandria. Eugene merely notes that he is adapting but Abraham still isn’t convinced that Eugene is a warrior. Seconds later, a walker appears in the shop and Eugene insists on killing it, but is unable to do so. Abraham steps in and does the deed which angers Eugene, who then proclaims that he doesn’t need Abraham to protect him anymore. Now angered, Abraham walks off and tells Eugene he can fend for himself.

eugene fights walker

Meanwhile, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos), and Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever) hike to another abandoned town where Denise knows of an apothecary. Denise hopes to find much needed medicine in the place and their luck pays off. The trio find a hefty supply of various bottled pills in the apothecary. As Daryl and Rosita start taking the bottles from the shelves, Denise starts exploring the dark and decaying store. In one darkened room she finds a crippled walker, nearly deteriorated, and in a corner is a sink full of blood and ooze with a child’s boot visible in the mess. Sickened by the sight, Denise goes outside and waits for Daryl and Rosita who soon finish their plunder. Daryl understands Denise’s repulsion since she isn’t battle-hardened and gently praises her for finding the apothecary.

They head back to Alexandria using some railroad tracks as a path. They come upon some abandoned cars and Denise spots a cooler inside one of them. The only problem is that there is a walker inside the car. Despite the other two’s advice, Denise opens the car and fetches the cooler, but the walker attacks her. She is able to kill it and when she opens the cooler Denise is rewarded with soda cans.

denise and walker

Daryl starts berating her for being reckless. Denise defends her actions, stating that they have to take chances to survive. Almost as in response, Denise is shot through the back of her skull and out an eye with an arrow. Her killer quickly appears. It is Dwight (Austin Amelio), who Daryl first met in the episode “Always Accountable” and the encounter ended with Dwight stealing his motorcycle and crossbow, which he now used to kill Denise. Making matters worse is that Dwight isn’t alone. He and several Saviors have taken Eugene hostage and demand that Daryl and Rosita surrender. The two reluctantly do as ordered and are told to take the Saviors to Alexandria or be killed.

euegene hostageEugene, who is on his knees next to Dwight, tells his captor to kill the person hiding behind some nearby oil barrels. Dwight sends one of the Saviors over to the barrels and this gives Eugene the chance to lunge at Dwight and bite him on the crotch. At the same time, Abraham, who was indeed nearby, opens fire on the Saviors. This gives Daryl and Rosita the opportunity to pick up their weapons and join in the firefight. The Alexandrians kill several Saviors and cause the rest, including Dwight, to flee into the woods. Daryl has his crossbow back and wants to go after Dwight but stops because Eugene has been shot in the abdomen.

They take him back to town and luckily it was only a flesh wound. Abraham expresses his respect again to Eugene but the mood in Alexandria is hardly celebratory. Denise, the only doctor, is dead and everyone is preparing for a coming war with the Saviors. Meanwhile, Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), one of the most experienced fighters in town, leaves Alexandria. In a letter she wrote to her new lover Tobin (Jason Douglas) she states that she will have to kill in order to protect the ones she loves in Alexandria. But she can’t bring herself to kill anymore due to her guilt over her past actions.

railroad standoff

“Twice As Far” is a mishmash of an episode for The Walking Dead where it served to acknowledge several past developments while setting up the climatic season finale. Buttressing its uneven nature where the somewhat pretentious opening moments with little dialogue, and a slow-moving build up that came to a wrenching halt with Denise’s death. From that surprising moment, the episode quickened its pace and ended on a satisfying note.

rosita and daryl

Fans of the comic book will notice that many elements from the 98th issue are recreated in “Twice As Far” such as one of the main characters being shot through the eye with an arrow. Only in this case, it was Denise instead of Abraham. On that note, it was good to see Dwight getting some payback for betraying Daryl in “Always Accountable” and we all agree with Daryl that he should’ve have killed him back in that episode.

The episode also focused some much-needed attention on Eugene, who has been underutilized this season and it showcased how he has grown as a fighter/survivor. Poor Denise had dead denisea similar arc but met an untimely death partly out of recklessness, but what was missing was the reaction of her death from her lover Tara Chambler (Alanna Masterson), one of the main characters. Given the build up to the season finale, it’s doubtful we will see those moments of grief from Tara.

The situation with Carol also felt shoehorned into the episode and out of place. Her development in the past always seemed natural and well paced. Here her story merely bookends the episode’s plot and does not have anything to do with it.

Next up, “East” the second-to-last episode of the season which sets up the fateful confrontation with the Saviors and their leader Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

Waldermann Rivera

 

 

The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Thirteen “The Same Boat”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2016 by Starloggers

 walker in freezer

“You’re wondering if there’s a way out of this. There isn’t, not unless I say so.” – Paula to Maggie

“The Same Boat”, the thirteenth episode of the sixth season of The Walking Dead begins shortly before the previous episode ended, but from the point of view of this episode’s protagonists, Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) and Maggie Green (Lauren Cohan), who are guarding the perimeter of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group’s attack of the Saviors in their compound.

forest prisonersThe two woman are in the woods and ambushed by one of the Saviors, who is called Donnie (Russ Blackwell). Carol shoots him in the arm but they are captured by three other Saviors, Paula (Alicia Witt), Molly ( Jill Jane Clements) and Michelle (Jeananne Goossen). Paula, who is the leader of the group, spots with her binoculars Rick about to shoot Primo (Jimmy Gonzalez) a Savior that he captured. She radios Rick and demands that he and the others drop their weapons and that she has Carol and Maggie hostage. After listening to Rick’s offer to trade Primo for the women, she tells him she will contact him later and the four take the women to a slaughterhouse and imprisoned them in a room.

While they are bound with duct tape and gagged in the makeshift cell, Carol finds a rosary on the dirty floor and begins hyperventilating. This attracts the Saviors who are disgusted by Carol’s weak behavior. Of course, they do not realize that she is only acting as a scared housewife. She tells them to spare Maggie because she is pregnant.

Donnie is in severe pain from paula and donnythe gunshot wound and wants to kill Carol, but Paula won’t allow this since she needs the hostages alive for a trade, at least until their backup arrives so they can all ambush Rick’s group. Enraged, Donnie attacks Paula, but she knocks him out and leaves him in the room. Michelle then takes Maggie away to another room to interrogate her.

Carol starts talking to Paula and tries convincing her to spare them and  make the trade with Rick because he will kill them if she refuses. Eventually, Paula decides to go through with the trade and radios Rick that the trade is on. She is suspicious that Rick is nearby though. After Paula and Molly leave the cell, Carol cuts herself free with the rosary and looks for Maggie in the slaughterhouse. She quickly finds her alone in a room and tries to get her to leave immediately, but Maggie wants to kill the Saviors. The two go back to their cell and discover that Donnie died from his wound and will soon turn into a walker; Maggie decides to set a trap.

walker gauntlet

Soon after, Molly enters the cell and is attacked by Donnie, who is now a walker. The walker manages to bite Molly before she kills it but Molly in turn is bludgeoned to death by Maggie. Carol appears and takes Molly’s gun before they leave. When they get to a corridor leading to the outside, they find the walls lined with impaled walkers who are meant to keep them from escaping. At that moment, Paula appears behind them and fires her gun but misses. Carol aims her own gun at her and tells her to run but Paula refuses to budge. A walker tries to attack Carol which causes her to shoot Paula in the shoulder. Maggie spots Michelle nearby and the two women begin fighting in another room. The fight ends when Carol enters the room and shoots Michelle in the head.

They go back to the corridor with the walkers and Paula lunges at Carol. In the melee, Carol shoves her onto  a stake that is impaling a walker. Now in a deadly embrace, the walker grabs Paula and starts to chew her face off.

paula eaten

Paula’s fallen radio crackles to life. It’s one of the coming Saviors. Carol pretends to be Paula and lures them inside the slaughterhouse to a designated spot, the kill floor. A few minutes later, three Saviors arrive and go to the kill floor that is drenched in gasoline. Carol lights up the room and traps the men inside as they burn to death.

saviors burned

The women make their way through the walker corridor as Maggie methodically kills all the walkers, including Paula, who is now a walker. When they reach the outside door, Rick appears on the other side with his group, which includes Maggie’s dead primo walkinghusband Glenn Rhee (Steven Yuen). Rick turns to Primo and demands to know who is Negan, the leader of the Saviors. Primo smugly announces that he is Negan, echoing an earlier pronouncement by Molly that all of the Saviors are Negan. In response, Rick shoots him in the head.

 

“The Same Boat” was gripping and gritty even for The Walking Dead. More than that, this episode was a tour de force for Melissa McBride, who gave her best performance as Carol since the fourth season classic “The Grove”. As with that episode, Melissa McBride largely carries the episode as Carol is the center of the story.

tough carol

Carol is still struggling with the guilt of her past killings and seems genuinely weary and at the end. She isn’t suicidal or has a death wish like some other characters in The Walking Dead but she is perilously close. At this point, she is still bothered by her actions and her place in the world. What probably disturbs her the most is how much of herself she sees in the Saviors, especially Paula and Molly. This point is even expressed in some dialogue that Carol has with Molly where the older woman, who is suffering from a lung ailment and still smokes cigarettes. Molly casually tells her, ” I’m a dead woman walking, which puts us in exactly the same boat.”

Also Carol’s inner turmoil is in the realization of the similarities between the Saviors and Rick’s group, especially herself, and how they are heading in the Saviors’ savage direction. Are they truly the good guys? We wholeheartedly say yes, but that is only because The Walking Dead is told from their point of view.

prisoners

The theme of dark reflections is also explored in Maggie’s scenes with Michelle. It turns out that the two had similar histories, but in Michelle’s case, she lost her lover and her unborn child. So Maggie must be wondering if Michelle’s story is a cautionary tale. But she does not seem to be reflective of this since she is the one who encourages Carol to kill the Saviors when they had their chance to escape. So will Maggie walk down Carol’s dark path considering what could lay ahead with Glenn?

As we ponder this, keep in mind there are only three episodes left until the promised climatic season finale. It’s a guarantee that our heroes will be tested like never before.

José Soto

The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Twelve “Not Tomorrow Yet”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2016 by Starloggers

andy jeremy palko at savior sat station

In the twelfth episode of season six of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and several members of his group return to the Alexandria Safe Zone from the Hilltop community. He calls for a town meeting in Alexandria’s church and tells everyone about the agreement they made with Hilltop where they would get supplies in exchange for the Alexandrians murdering a gang called the Saviors, who are preying on Hilltop.

church meeting

Rick’s friend Morgan (Lennie James) argues that they should try negotiating with the Saviors instead, a couple of others seem to agree with Morgan’s viewpoint like Tara (Alanna Masterson) but remain silent. Aaron (Ross Marquand), the town’s scout, argues for Rick’s position and it’s decided to go after the Saviors and rescue the Hilltop resident Craig (Myke Holmes) who is held hostage by the Saviors.

That night the Alexandrians ready for the coming fight in their own separate ways. Carol (Melissa McBride), who is haunted by the deaths on her hands, is sleepless and goes out for a walk. She comes across Tobin (Jason Douglas) by his porch and they start talking. Before long, they share a kiss and go inside his home. Meanwhile, as that relationship commences, Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) ends his relationship with Rosita (Christian Serratos).

The next day, Rick gathers a  group that includes Carol, Abraham, Rosita, Tara, Ross, Michonne (Danai Gurira), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Glenn (Steven Yuen), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Heath (Corey Hawkins), Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), along with Hilltop residents Jesus (Tom Payne) and Andy (Jeremy Palko). They depart in several vehicles and along the way, stop the caravan to kill a few walkers. The reason is that the Saviors demanded the head of the Hilltop leader, Gregory (Xander Berkeley), so Rick chooses one head of a dispatched walker that resembles Gregory.

showing gregs head

That night the group arrives outside the Saviors’ headquarters, an abandoned satellite station. Maggie and Carol remain behind with the vehicles, while the others creep up to the station. Andy drives up to the doors in his car, which attracts the attention of two night guards. As they inspect the head of “Gregory”, they are taken by surprise by Rick’s group and killed. They also manage to free Craig then enter the Saviors’ compound. Methodically, Rick and his people kill many of the Saviors in their sleep. The only ones who have trouble doing this are Glenn and Heath who never killed people before. Glenn manages to do this and spares Heath the ordeal of murdering someone by killing Heath’s intended sleeping target. Afterwards, they see several Polaroids of the Saviors’ victims: all with their heads smashed in.

Abraham and Sasha find a supply room that is locked and as they try to break in, a Savior discovers them. Abraham kills the man, but not before the Savior sets off an alarm. Their cover blown, Rick’s group engages the remaining Saviors in a series of swift and vicious firefights with their military rifles both inside and outside the station. Outside, Tara suggests that Jesus, Andy and Craig head back to Hilltop in their car. Jesus insists on staying to help out as the other two leave the premises.

The firefight soon ends with the Saviors killed Rick firesand Rick and his group victorious.  When they leave the station, it’s already morning and they come upon a parking lot with vehicles. Needing to recoup from the ordeal, Heath turns down Glenn’s offer to go back to Alexandria and relax. Instead he and Tara take off in their vehicle for a supply run in the countryside. Rick and Michonne wonder if one of the men killed was the leader Negan. At that moment, a lone surviving Savior tries to escape in a motorcycle that Daryl recognizes as his own that was stolen a few episodes ago. Rosita shoots him and he falls off the bike. Daryl catches up to the Savior and demands to know where he got the bike as Rick holds a gun to his head, just then a woman’s voice from the Savior’s radio is heard. She demands that Rick and the others lower their weapons and adds that she and her group have captured Maggie and Carol.

day after

“Tomorrow Not Yet” amps up the tension and the anticipation for the fateful encounter with Negan, while delivering a pounding, nerve-wracking action fest. The last twenty minutes of this episode was so intense and bursting with the type of action that one would see in a Die Hard film not The Walking Dead. It was brutal, ugly and unlike most action films it didn’t glorify violence. One point made in “Tomorrow Not Yet” is that killing isn’t always easy. This was best seen in the moments where Glenn and Heath are forced to kill. For them, and like many of us, coldly killing someone, even if deserved, isn’t something to be done casually. We feel for these two because they’re so much like us, as much as we want, we’re not Daryl or Michonne, two efficient killers. That is why seeing Glenn steel himself to deliver the killing blow at someone who is sleeping was so hard to watch.

heath and glenn

 

To this episode’s credit, it didn’t rely on mindless violence. There was adequate build up to the finale which explored many themes and characters, many of whom had memorable scenes. Take Carol, for example, who is now suffering from her past killing actions. Recently we’ve come to see her as this cold-hearted, practical woman who has little room for sympathy. She’s come a long way from season one where she was a timid abused housewife. In “Tomorrow Not Yet” Carol demonstrates that she still has a conscious.

Someone who doesn’t appear to have one is Abraham, who is spiraling towards his fate. Apparently, he seems to know that his days are numbered and doesn’t care about social niceties as seen with the way he callously breaks up with Rosita and leaves her heartbroken. Meanwhile, Gabriel is transitioning into something of a warrior priest by the way he delivers a prayer to a Savior before killing him (also in an earlier dialogue with Rick, he refuses to remove his priest’s garb because he still thinks of himself as a man of the cloth).

Finally, Rick and many of the others are paying for their hubris. They, especially Rick, assumed they could just walk into the Saviors’ turf and take them out. They feel this way based on their past success and at first their overconfidence is warranted given their victory but the final moments in “Tomorrow Not Yet” just prove how things do not always go as planned.

Lewis T. Grove

The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Eleven “Knots Untie”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2016 by Starloggers

at hilltop

“Your world’s about to get a whole lot bigger” – Jesus

“Knots Untie” is the eleventh episode of The Walking Dead’s sixth season and takes place moments before the last episode where Paul “Jesus” Rovio (Tom Payne) walked into Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) bedroom in the middle of the night announcing he had to talk to Rick.

Outside in the Alexandria Safe Zone, Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) and his wife Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) are checking on some crops they planted when they spot Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever) and Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) rushing into Rick’s home. They follow suit and find Jesus in the hallway. Rick comes out of his room and tells them all to stand down. In a hastily held meeting, Jesus tells them his story. He comes from a town called Hilltop, which is a day’s drive away, and he is scouting to set up trade between any settlement he discovers. He invites Rick and the others to visit his town.

wreckage

The next day, Rick and other Alexandria residents, which include Glenn, Maggie, Michonne, Abraham, and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), set out in an RV with Jesus and leave town. During the long drive, they come upon a car wreck with pinned walkers. Jesus realizes that the car came from Hilltop and panics about the fate of his fellow residents. They follow tracks to a nearby building where Jesus is convinced survivors from the car crash are located. Rick and the others rush inside and rescue the Hilltop residents, among them are an obstetrician, Dr. Harlan Carson (R. Keith Harris), who is grateful for Glenn rescuing him.

They arrive at Hilltop, a walled town much hilltoplike Alexandria, but more like a farming community with livestock and crops. Rick quickly realizes that Hilltop doesn’t have ammo by the fact that the town’s defenders are only armed with knives and spears. Jesus introduces the group to Hilltop’s leader, Gregory (Xander Berkeley), who is rather caustic and dismissive towards the group. Maggie meets with him alone and tries to negotiate a barter deal. Gregory scoffs and instead puts proposes that the Alexandria residents come to work in Hilltop for food. Maggie, already annoyed by his disrespectful and condescending tone, rejects this offer.

ethan stabs gregShortly after the meeting ends a group of haggard Hilltop residents enter the community. They came back from meeting with a Negan and his own group, the Saviors, and it didn’t go well. From later discussions, Rick and his group learn that Hilltop has to hand over half their food to the Saviors in return for being left alone. This time, the Saviors weren’t satisfied with the amount of food Hilltop provided, killed two Hilltop residents and are holding another hostage. One of the arrivals, Ethan (Justin Kucsulain), also has a message for Gregory from Negan – he apologizes before stabbing Gregory. This sparks a sudden battle between Rick’s group and the Hilltop people. Jesus is able to calm everyone down before it escalates, but by this time Rick has already killed Ethan, who had a knife to Rick’s throat.

STANDOFF

Later, as Gregory recovers from the stabbing, Rick meets with Jesus and offers to kill the Saviors in return for provisions. Jesus relays the deal to Gregory who then calls for Maggie to his residence. Once there, Maggie demands that Gregory hand over half their supplies in exchange for dealing with Negan. The Hilltop leader begrudgingly complies.

Soon after, Harlan gives Maggie an ultrasound exam to check on the baby, then Rick and his group leave for Alexandria. As they all relax in their ride home, Glenn and Maggie pass around an ultrasound photo of their baby. They all feel hopeful and quietly confident about the future.

wreckage walker

A marked improvement over the previous episode, “Knots Untie” throws The Walking Dead into a new ominous direction that will have Rick and his group confronting Negan and his Saviors. Anyone who follows the comic books already know that the encounter will be a fateful one as Negan is a villain as vicious, if not more, as the infamous Governor.

“Knots Untie” did a more than adequate hilltop fightjob of creating a building sense of dread in face of our characters stoic confidence about being able to handle Negan. We, the audience, at least those that have read ahead, realize that the Saviors won’t be your standard road gang. Forget about the Wolves or the Terminus residents, the Saviors are a whole other level of evil. Obviously, Rick, Daryl and the others don’t know this, all they have to go on are their past encounters with thugs and savages. Still, their positive demeanor about what lies ahead is disconcerting to watch. It’s as if we want to reach into the TV screen and yell a loud warning to them as they obliviously march toward doom.

One thing that this episode did so well is to keep us guessing as to who will die next. For most of the episode, it seemed as if it was Abraham’s time. The man seems unsure of his place in the world, sees no future based on his observation of Glenn and Maggie starting a family. Early in the episode, his budding relationship with Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) abraham in bedis nipped as she quietly spurns him. It’s hard to feel bad for him in that regard since he is already involved with Rosita (Christian Serratos), who even crafted a necklace for him (which was lost during the scuffle at Hilltop, another clue that Abraham will meet his maker soon). On the other hand, he is likeable in a tough, brutal way with his no-nonsense attitude and fortitude. He’s been lost ever since he discovered that his reason for living after his family was killed was a sham. It came as a relief (for now) that he didn’t die, but his death is being telegraphed. But as much as he is liked, this leading up to his death actually feels logical.

Then there is Glenn. Will his luck finally run out with Negan? On paper, it would seem so, but remember all that angst that viewers underwent when he supposedly died. That was very recent and to pull the rug out from under us like that would undo any good will from fans. The reaction to his fate will probably be worse than that of a typical Game of Thrones death. So if not Glenn, then who else? We won’t find out until the season finale, just a handful of episodes away, so we better steel ourselves.

José Soto

The Walking Dead Season Six, Episode Ten “The Next World”

Posted in Entertainment, Horror, Reviews, Supernatural, Television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2016 by Starloggers

rick and daryl hold guns

“The Next World” is the tenth episode in season six of The Walking Dead and jumps ahead two months after the events in the previous episode “No Way Out”.

The town of Alexandria has been rebuilt from the ashes of the walker invasion two months ago that left many residents killed including the town’s leader Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh). Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is now the leader of Alexandria and oversees the recovery of the town. At the start of “The Next World” he and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) leave the walled town on a supply run in their car.

Afterwards, while patrolling on top of Alexandria’s walls, Michonne (Danai Gurira) spots Spencer Monroe (Austin Nichols) with a shovel leaving the town and heading into the woods. She decides to follow him and eventually catches up to him. Despite his protests about being left alone, Michonne accompanies him anyway in his unspoken quest.

jesus dudeMany miles away, Rick and Daryl come upon a barn with a truck full of food supplies. Pleased with their booty, they leave their car at the barn and leave with the truck. On the way back, they stop at an abandoned gas station to look for more supplies. Rick is jumped by Paul “Jesus” Rovia (Tom Payne), but Jesus is quickly overwhelmed by the two men. He is able to convince them that he doesn’t mean any harm, but he distracts them and steals their truck.

Rick and Daryl pursue Jesus on foot. Eventually they catch up to him when he stops the truck to repair a flat tire. They tie him up, leave him on the side of the road and leave with their truck.

jesus at gunpoint

While driving they notice some thumping on the truck’s roof and find Jesus on top of their vehicle. They stop the truck and Jesus jumps off. Daryl exits the truck and a chase ensues that leads the three to a bunch of walkers tied to an abandoned pickup truck in an open field. The walkers break free and the trio are forced to kill the walkers. In the melee, Rick and Daryl’s truck is accidently set on neutral and it rolls into a lake, lost with all the found supplies. With Jesus finally knocked out by Daryl, Rick convinces him to take Jesus back to town, sensing that he isn’t a bad person.

DEANA WALKER

Near Alexandria, Michonne and Spencer find what Spencer was looking for: his mother Deanna, now an undead walker. Michonne grabs the walker, giving Spencer the opportunity to perform a mercy killing of sorts on his dead mother. Later, they bury Deanna and Michonne convinces him that he still has a family and home back at Alexandria.

That evening, Rick and Michonne are home and begin a romantic relationship. Later, in the middle of the night, Rick and Michonne are awoken from their bed by Jesus, who has to talk to him.

All things considered, “The Next World” was a rather disappointing entry for The Walking Dead. It has some decent moments and performances, but on the whole this episode was disjointed. Some interesting developments and character studies–Rick and Michonne’s new relationship, a sympathetic look at Spencer with his mission, were all overshadowed by the buffoonery surrounding Jesus.

jesus running

Many genre shows like Star Trek, The X-Files and Farscape have done comedic episodes and they worked. In this case, with this show, throwing comedy into the mix just does not work. Perhaps it’s because The Walking Dead is too dire and horrific for comedy to fit in comfortably. What was worse is that the silliness over trying to capture Jesus, made Rick and Daryl look like idiots on a Keystone Cops level. The episode’s attempts at laughs fell flat and diminished Rick and Daryl as formidable fighters. How come they couldn’t adequately handle this thief? How did Jesus untie himself and climb up onto the truck’s roof unnoticed as the duo drove for miles? Overall, not a great introduction for Jesus as a character.

rickchonneA final gripe has to go with the abrupt start of Rick and Michonne’s romantic relationship. Of course, shippers are thrilled with this development and the signs were there ever since the fourth season. The problem is that in the episode before “The Next World” Rick saw his girlfriend Jessie (Alexandria Breckenridge) horribly devoured before his eyes. He was clearly agonized as she was screaming when the walkers overwhelmed her and the scene showed blood-tinged flash cuts to earlier, more innocent memories of her. So, Rick was devoted to her, hell, he nearly got exiled from Alexandria because of his feelings for her. Now, just two months, and one episode, later he is bedding Michonne. This is just a quick plot point from the point of view of the showrunners who clearly wanted to move Rick from point A to B without any pause. Unfortunately, little time was given to allow the relationship to blossom naturally. This should’ve occurred over the space of a few episodes. Chalk to this up to the show needing to get on with the coming Negan “headache”, for all we know maybe the showrunners will pull a fast one and Michonne will be the victim of Negan’s wrath instead of Glenn (Steven Yeun) and so they want us more invested in her. We’ll find out in a few episodes.

José Soto